In the midst of the semester, with schoolwork piling up, the Gannon University men’s golf team traveled to Whispering Springs, N.C., for the BrownGolf Intercollegiate Golf Invitational, hosted by Indiana (Pa.) University Friday and Saturday.
The tournament was the first competitive action for the Knights since October, and they shot a combined score of 634 over 36 holes to finish ninth among 12 teams — one spot below their eighth-place effort from 2016.
The team traveled by renting a van and making the road trip south. It wasn’t a bad trip, according to freshman golfer Kyle Luben.
“We have a fun group so time passed quickly,” Luben said.
In the first day of competition, the team faced off in a tournament that included 91 golfers from 12 universities.
Matt Barto, the Knights’ top-ranked golfer for the tournament, placed 12th overall with rounds of 77 and 74.
Michael Miranda of St. Thomas Aquinas was the medalist with scores of 70-69-139.
Barto was tied for 20th with teammate Daegan Wall after the first round of play. Wall followed his opening-round 77 with a 75 to finish in a tie for 17th at 152 – one shot behind Barto.
Billy Clark wound up in a tie for 58th overall with identical rounds of 82 while Billy Colbert finished tied for 68th at 84-83-167. Jordan Henry finished 81st at 89-94-173.
Competing individually for Gannon were Luben and Ryan Strauss, who finished at 85th and 89th overall, respectively, with scores of 87-90-177 and 93-93-186.
“I think I grew closer with my teammates [by] spending nearly a week with all of them under the same roof,” Luben said.
Individually, the team is improving. Barto, Wall and Colbert all are carrying averages below 80 so far on the season.
Barto has averaged 76.1 in 14 rounds, while Wall is next at 79.1 and Colbert 79.5 over the first six tournaments.
After the weekend tournament, and the long drive, the team is recovering and enjoying a short break before it returns to action at the West Chester Spring Invitational April 9-10.